Thinking and Writing about Philosophy / Edition 2

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With 16 readings by prominent philosophers and 8 examples of student writing, this concise and inexpensive guide discusses every stage of reading, analyzing, and responding to philosophical texts and arguments and offers thorough coverage of research and documentation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312396534
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 3/8/2002
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

HUGO A. BEDAU, professor of philosophy at Tufts University, served as chair of the Philosophy Department and chair of the university's committee on college writing. He is coeditor, with Sylvan Barnet, of two highly successful text/readers for college composition: Current Issues and Enduring Questions, Sixth Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002) and Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing, Fourth Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002). An internationally respected expert on moral, legal, and political theory, he has published among other books, The Death Penalty in America, Justice and Equality, Victimless Crimes, and Making Mortal Choices.

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Table of Contents

To the Instructor: Helping Your Students Improve Their Writing
To the Student: Why Improving Your Writing Matters—to You

* New to this edition

A Socratic Exercise
Some Important Features of Writing Philosophy
* The Fields of Philosophy

Reading vs. Skimming
* Taking Notes
Rewriting What You Have Read: Four Assignments
Writing a Summary
Some Guidelines for Writing an Effective Summary
Summarizing an Extract from David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
The Summary, by Noah Kriegel (Student)
Writing an Abstract
Some Guidelines for Writing an Effective Abstract
* Writing an Abstract of Garrett Hardin's "On Not Feeding the Starving"
* The Abstract, by Ashley de Marchera (Student)
Extracting an Author's Thesis
Some Guidelines for Extracting an Author's Thesis
Extracting the Thesis from Bertrand Russell's "Three Essentials for a Stable World"
Extracting a Thesis from Friedrich Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals
Extracting the Thesis from Edmund Gettier's "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?"
Outlining an Essay
A Sample Outline
Some Guidelines for Writing an Effective Outline
* Writing an Outline of C. S. Peirce's "How to Make Our Ideas Clear"
* The Outline, by Dan Rosenberg (Student)

Argument vs. Disputation and Persuasion
Argument in Detail
Formulating and Evaluating a Definition
Constructing a Definition Based on Ernest Nagel's "A Defense of Atheism"
A Student's Definition
* Explanation by Exclusion and Contrast
* Explaining the Definition of Law in "The Treatise on Law" by St. Thomas Aquinas
Evaluating an Argument by Analogy
Some Guidelines for Evaluating an Analogy
Evaluating an Argument by Analogy in Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion"
The Essay: Thomson's Plugged-In Violinist and the Problem of Abortion, by Steven Calcote (Student)
Evaluating a Formal Argument
Some Guidelines for Evaluating a Formal Argument
A Checklist for Evaluating Arguments
Evaluating an Argument in Morton G. White's What Is and What Ought to Be Done
The Essay: An Antiabortion Argument Evaluated, by David Hoberman (Student)

Getting Started
The Eight-Step Sequence
Writing an Essay on a Definition and a Counterexample in Plato's Republic
Guidelines for Preliminary Notes
The Essay: Cephalus's Self-Contradiction, by Stacey Schmidt (Student)
Writing an Essay on Divergent Views of Criteria and Evidence
The First Text: René Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason
The Second Text: Alan M. Turing, Computing Machinery and Intelligence
The Essay: Can Machines Think? Turing vs. Descartes, by Ellen Wheeler (Student)

Using an Outline to Help Construct Your Paper
The Opening Paragraph
Introducing the Topic
Stating Your Thesis
Sketching Your Argument
Putting First Things Last
Paragraph Structure
* "The Internal Logic of a Paragraph," by Mary Anne Warren
* "The External Logic of Paragraphs," by Sisela Bok
The Closing Paragraph
Choosing a Title
Revising and Editing
Writing is Rewriting
Reviewing Your Paper for Word Choice
Avoiding Sexist Language
Using Latin Terms Correctly
Commonly Confused Words
Reviewing Your Paper for Structure, Grammar, and Punctuation
* Structure
Revising Papers in Response to Others' Comments
Peer Review
Instructor Comments
A Student's First Draft with Instructor Comments: Jennifer Trusted's Concept of Freedom and Its Bearing on the Dispute between Determinists and Libertarians, by Peter L. Miller, III (Student)
Miller's Revised Essay
Manuscript Preparation and Format
A Final Checklist

Integrating Quotations
Why Quote in the First Place?
Pitfalls to Avoid in Quoting
Long Quotations
Avoiding Plagiarism
Citing and Documenting Sources
Numbered Footnotes of Endnotes
In-text Citation
Multiple Sources
Preparing Your Bibliography
A Sample Bibliography
A Student's Bibliography: "A Bibliography on the Nature of Human Consciousness," by Eugene Leach

Philosophical Dictionaries
Encyclopedias, Book Series, and Specialized References
* Web Sites



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